Cinderella (2015) – Disneycember

This remake claims it makes Cinderella stronger. Does it actually make her weaker?

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.

33 comments

  1. MidnightScreeningsman2014

    I found this to be a decent flick but get where your coming from!!!

  2. That’s a pretty big problem I have with a lot of modern movies and show. One of the key rules of film is show, don’t tell. I had the exact same problem with Supergirl. They keep SAYING and shoving it down our throats that she’s so strong and doesn’t want to live in someone else’s shadow, but her actions don’t back that up.

  3. The only reason I wanted to see this was Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter… and even then, I didn’t have a desire to see it that badly

  4. The main problem with this movie is rather than just making Cinderella a strong female character as an element of the story, they just fell into a sort of representation based creative sterility, they sort of had an outline for Cinderella as a strong female character, but just sort of basked in the representation without really making sure if the shoe actually fit, so to speak.

  5. As far as a good version of Cinderella goes…Ever After is good. I certainly like it. But my personal favorite is the Wonderful World of Disney adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. Starring Brandy, Bernadette Peters, and Whitney Huston

  6. I agree with just about everything you said except for the childhood scenes. This is one of the few if only Cinderella movies that shows the mother. And considering that in most written versions she is helped by the ghost of her mother or a reincarnation of her mother rather then a fairy, it’s an interesting element to add. That alone makes the film not totally worthless, to me.

    It makes me think that the director or writer wanted to ignore the original film completely and just retell the actually folk tales but was forced to adhere to the animated film more by Disney. It’s obvious that the template for Cinderella’s character is the original fairy tale “good girl” archetype and not the strong, independent lead that they were hyping up. And there’s tons of little call backs to the various versions of the story while the references to the original movie are so underwhelming and glossed over. That doesn’t make the changes necessarily good but rather explains the disconnect from the marketing/advertising/ interviews and what was actually displayed on screen.

    Also I’m still hoping for a old vs. new between these two Disney versions.

  7. Looks like “The Slipper And The Rose” is the superior rendition, then. I suggest people check that one out if they can. The cast is stellar and the songs (written by the Sherman Brothers) were nominated for an academy award.

    • Thanks for the reminder that I should get that on DVD. I grew up with a ton of versions of Cinderella. Slipper and the Rose, The Glass Slipper, the Disney cartoon, two different versions of Rodgers & Hammerstein, Ever After a little later… yeah. Slipper and the Rose is probably my favorite. Didn’t know it was Sherman bros. music! Makes sense I loved those songs so much.

  8. I did like this version but mostly I wanted to see it because its the Young Wolf falling for Lady Rose from Downton Abbey. There are stronger versions out there, but are also weaker ones, so this one was pretty run of the mill. Personally, I think if the studios want to do “gritter and darker” they should just concentrate on the child abuse.

  9. A strong character doesn’t mean that the person is automatically physically strong or active or tough or smart or even a good person; A strong character is someone who is conveys the purpose and emotions that the writer was going for.

    This gets so anger-inducing when studios try to do the “OMG, guys, we have ended sexism with our movie” BS because it both pisses all over classic works, whose overall message is timeless, and doesn’t advance storytelling and character portrayal in any significant way.

    Actresses, who are plugging films, seem to be told to say, all of the time, “She’s not a traditional princess; She’s a strong woman; She kicks butt; Welcome to KFC; Blah Blah Blah”: That’s not varying the depiction of women; That’s saying “but the chart says”, writing the script on the bus, on the way to work, according to the guideline you were given, and then handing that guideline to the actresses to parrot off of for the press.

    The animated Cinderella is a strong character; Danielle is a strong character: I can tell you what the reactions and emotions of each would be, and what her place in the story is.

    On a sidenote, this move burned my Disney bacon with even just the theatre cardboard cutouts because Cinderella’s dress is blue and the fairy godmother’s dress is silver. What a blatant finger to fans who’ve longed for merchandise of animated Cinderella in her movie accurate silver dress (The fairy godmother’s dress is blue in the 1950 movie). Bloody Dismaland got that right. How does Disney keep screwing that up? I once saw a Precious Moments figure that had the dress colour the closest I’ve ever seen (Unfortunately, they did that alongside forgetting, or not caring, that the prince’s hair is black) but stuff like that is rare.

  10. The King was already pretty interesting in the animated version…

  11. I’m so sick of live action remakes I refused to see this – but Cinderella “just leave”? In the time period this is set? A woman back then wasn’t an individual, she was property. First of her family then of her husband. Especially if she was an upper class woman like Cinderella was. Poor women could easily just leave because everyone needs maids and cooks. But with her having money of her own? And yes, she would have it even if her stepmother controlled it until she was a certain age. No, she couldn’t just leave. Not until she married and/or came of age where she was allowed access to her money. Even then it would likely be controlled by a solicitor – or if she married her husband. And her father might’ve even put something in his will where she could not leave or she’d forfeit her inheritance.

    • But this is a disney movie, not a documentary about a certain time period. Disney’s aim is (or at least should be) to make a movie with likeable characters whose actions the audience can understand and a plot that’s both interesting, easy to follow, and makes sense. Frozen is suppose to be set around the 1820’s but Disney never uses the time period as a restriction for the characters because that would hold back the story. I mean the audience is expected to believe in the fact that pumpkins can become carriages, and dresses can be made by magic, but apparently we can’t suspend our disbelief over 1850’s inheritance laws? Cinderella’s actions in this movie don’t make sense, she has every opportunity to go to the ball by herself but doesn’t, she then has every opportunity to go back to the prince after the ball (the movie even mentions months have past between the ball and the shoe fitting) but cinderella doesn’t even try to find him again. These just make her seem like a weak character.

      • But unlike Frozen – which is a total mangling of The Snow Queen – Cinderella is the one Disney movie that’s closest to the original fairy tale, which reflects the time period of which it’s set. Which again means she can’t just leave.

        • But their still fairytales and fairytales are suppose to be timeless because their based on emotion not logic. I mean Snow White is based in the 1600’s but obviously doesn’t care because no man (especially not a prince) would marry a woman who had just spent however long in living with only seven unrelated males (even if they were dwarfs). Sleeping Beauty doesn’t care that its set in the 14th century because there is mass rejoicing at the birth of a baby girl (European royal houses did not rejoice at the birth of a baby girl, France where sleeping beauty is apparently set, men didn’t even take off their hats at the news of a birth of a princess because princesses just weren’t that important, heck because Aurora’s an only child their would have been mass disappointment at her birth). Disney has never cared about the gender politics of the time these movies are suppose to be set, so why do they care so much in this movie? To be honest I don’t think they do, and the fact Cinderella doesn’t leave is just a plot hole to necessary keep the story going.

          • In Sleeping Beauty they celebrated her birth because the king and queen went so long without having a child they feared they would die without an heir. That’s in the original writing, BTW, not Disney. They were so relieved that they could have kids when they thought they were barren that even a girl was a cause for celebration. In the original tale they invited 12 of the 13 fairies in their kingdom because 1: They only had 12 gold plates and 2: No one had seen the 13th fairy in so long they thought she was dead.

            Course in the original tale Sleeping Beauty was raped by a married king, gave birth to twins while still asleep, and one of the babies sucked the splinter out of her finger. She then went looking for the father of her kids. The king’s wife killed the babies and fed them to him in a stew. He in turn killed his wife and married the princess he raped.

            Snow White – well, she was nine years old in the original tale when the prince found her “dead.” So you have to wonder about an obviously pedophilic necrophiliac.

            The only part of Cinderella that the animated version left out was the fact the sisters cut off parts of their feet to make the shoe fit and birds ended up pecking out their eyes.

  12. I think a lot of the misinterpretation of the original story is from the modernization of it. Although the idea can make people uncomfortable, the classic Cinderella was probably a little girl. The more you read the story, the truer it seems. And so she probably was helpless, because she was just a child. I mean, it hardly seems like sexism when her step mother was the one giving her orders. She was in a bad way of life and simply had no place to go. In fact, in some interpretations, it is heavily implied that Cinderella had planned on charming the prince all along.

  13. I lived in Japan for a year after university. In the last minutes before I left my house, I remembered that I hadn’t brought any movies with me to watch as I knew it would take a few days to get my English tv/movies set up. I grabbed two vhs tapes (it was 1999). One was the BBC 1996 version of Pride and Prejudice. The other was Ever After. So for a month, these were the only two movies I could watch with clear understanding, and I never regretted my choice or got tired of them.
    But I dirges… You have no idea how painful it was watching this version of Cinderella after watching Ever After. Yes, I liked the prince and the king, but dear gawd, I just wanted to grab this girl and shake her! Just skip it and watch Ever After, or even the original cartoon version.

  14. I personally think that this movie was amazing and I think it does what a remake should do, make changes to update it but also keep it true to the original. I know the real purpose of a remake is to make money off of something already existing. However, the true purpose of a remake should be being respectful to the original, but also making necessary updates.

    Cinderella is still a strong character that can’t go for a number of other reasons besides her family. She’s living in a time period where women have no rights. Since her father died, she has no way of proving she’s of noble blood, so she couldn’t find a nobleman to marry her or anything. A woman’s life back then was determined by the status of her father or husband, both of which Cinderella didn’t have at the time. If you don’t find her interesting, that’s very subjective, but she does follow the original. I can see her wanting to tell her step-family off and she finally does when her step-mother breaks the slipper. She even stood up for herself when Lady Tremaine says something in french and one of the step-sisters says Cinderella doesn’t know what that means by showing how she can speak fluently in french and making all three of them look stupid. She was also singing and dancing because she was proud of herself for saving Kit and the kingdom from Lady Tremaine.

    It gave Charming (not named Kit) a three-dimensional personality, Kit and his father have such a strong relationship, Cinderella and Kit have TONS of chemistry, the acting is great, the effects and visuals are phenomenal, Lady Tremaine is given depth, and I find the family scenes to be wonderful. I feel more sympathy for Cinderella because I see what a strong connection she had with both of her parents, so losing them is really heartbreaking. Plus this dress is technically more meaningful than the original ballgown from the cartoon. Cinderella doesn’t want her dress to change because it was her mother’s and it felt like she was still with her in a way. So the Fairy-Godmother just updates the dress and just changes the color. It’s the same material and was just an updated version of her mother’s dress, just like how this is the same story, just given some necessary updates.

  15. Thanks for letting me know I should just stay away from this one. Kenneth Branagh’s never been a filmmaker whose work I can get along with, even when he’s making Thor.

    Anyway, would you be so kind as to do Muppet Treasure Island?

  16. I’ve always liked the original Cinderella. Critics be screwed. I thought that this was okay. It was done MUCH better than Maleficent at least. LOL. Also, the dress in this movie is too DIE for. Even her maid’s dress is!

  17. I admit i’m rather conflicted with this movie because on one hand i like a lot of the side characters from the original (including the prince) actually get a personality in this movie. As well (and most importantly) it’s one of the prettiest movies i’ve ever seen. Seriously the set and clothes designers for this movie did an excellent job because every scene is just gorgeous and i want every costume.

    However on the other hand the cinderella character in this is just so dull. I mean she mistakes ‘kindness’ for being a complete and utter pushover. I mean the scene where she gets kicked out of her room is ridiculous. She a full grown adult but when her step mother (of what like a year?) kicks her out of her room to a room that is basically pneumonia in waiting she only responds with “oh, okay”?!?! Look I don’t need all female characters to be katniss Everdeen, but i do need them to be interesting and have at least some sort of spine, and Cinderella in this just doesn’t have one.

    Also she doesn’t go looking for the prince after the ball? Why? the movie even states months have gone past and yet Cinderella does literally nothing to go and find him??? And don’t give me all that “but she’s a female in the 1860 or whatever and thus wasn’t allowed out of her house or she’ll be stoned!!!!” Honestly if i’m expected to suspend my disbelief enough to believe in pumpkin carriages and magic dresses, i’m sure can get over the twisting of 1800’s gender politics.

  18. I am going to have to disagree with you on a few points. I thought the Cinderella character was very independent. She stood up for her stepmother and has feelings. I didn’t think she was very happy all the time. If she were, she would have been bland. Say whatever you want. I really think the film did the animated one justice.

  19. The way you describe the character then the attic scene makes it sound like this Cinderella has mental issues. Maybe the childhood scenes aren’t accurate and were just some idealized memory. Are we sure the ball even happens? What if she isn’t free to leave? The whole thing could be a fantasy as she slowly dies of neglect.

  20. I never saw the film but as soon as I saw the prince in this review: ALL HAIL THE KING IN THE NORTH!

  21. Agree pretty much completely. I almost turned it off dozens of times because Cinderella was just so stupidly grating on the nerves. It had nothing to do with the actor, but anyone that was constantly that optimistic and cheerful in the situation was clearly an air headed simpleton. Trying to keep an upbeat optimistic attitude is find and dandy, but this took to way too far into the extreme it was sickening. She was so irritating.

    Everyone else, on the other hand, was amazing. Every scene with the prince and the king was very well done. Even the step mother tried to make the best of a bad situation by negotiating advantageous marriages for her daughters after failing with the prince.

    As for the whole time period accuracy thing, it was implied this story didn’t even take place on earth as there is no mention of kingdoms names and is pretty much in a generic fantasy world, so you can’t apply Earth history to it. Their society is whatever they want it to be. That said, Cinderella was so old that she could have easily escaped the household by marriage. She is still the daughter of a high ranking man and would have a strong dowry. If anything, the step mother would have married her off just to get rid of her and she was so pretty and friendly almost any male would have taken her.

  22. This is ranked as one of the best live-action Disney movies of all time! My family loves this movie! I thought the lack of interaction with the mice made it more realistic. I know that’s weird to ask for in a Cinderella adaptation, but this is my favorite Cinderella movie! You pretty much say the same thing about “Bridge To Terabithia”, which is ANOTHER one of the most acclaimed live-action Disney movies of the past ten years. I’m a bigger Disney fan than you!

  23. Any cinematic version of Cinderella that sticks as close to the Brothers Grimm version as possible? With the step-mother cutting off parts of her daughter’s feet to get the shoe to fit?

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